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Is Course Hero Worth It?

Course Hero is an online learning platform popular amongst college students. It offers resources and study guides as well as tutor support. If you are considering subscribing to Course Hero, you may wonder whether it is worth it. 

Course Hero is probably worth it if you need some extra resources to help you study or better understand a subject. It has several different subscription models, including a free and premium subscription, so you can choose which suits you best. It is easy to navigate and has several useful features.

However, it’s worth noting that my research of this program uncovered quite a few unfavorable reviews along with the glowing recommendations.

This article examines everything you need to know about Course Hero – both the good and bad. So let’s get started.

Review of Course Hero - Is It Worth It For College Students?

Should I Use Course Hero?

You should use Course Hero if you are looking for resources or materials to help deepen your knowledge about a particular subject. You can also use Course Hero to find tailored solutions to particular problems. Do not expect it to be a complete research solution.

Note: When it comes to these online course assistance programs there is one key point that you need to understand:

If you are looking for a resource to further your knowledge and understanding of a course, there is usually value to be had. If you are looking for a way to cheat your way through an exam, no online assistance program is going to meet your needs.

This section explores more about how and why you should use Course Hero. 

How Course Hero Can Help You 

Course Hero can help you do better in school in a variety of ways: 

  • Study Resources: Course Hero has a collection of study resources, including course outlines, course content, and a breakdown of concepts. These can help you build your knowledge in a particular subject. You can also search for content related to particular textbooks or even filter content down into school courses. 
  • Homework Help: Course Hero’s Homework Help feature allows you to ask questions about a concept or topic you don’t understand. You can also enter the text of a particular question you’re struggling with. Course Hero’s tutors and subject experts will give you an answer to your question in 15-30 minutes. 
  • Textbook solutions: If you are looking at finding solutions to questions or problems in particular textbooks, you can look at Course Hero’s textbook section. This section contains a list of textbooks with all the questions the textbook has and answers. 
  • Scholarships: Course Hero occasionally offers scholarships of up to $5,000 a semester for some students. 

If you are an expert in a particular subject area, you can also earn by signing up as a tutor on Course Hero. All you have to do is provide Course Hero with your academic credentials and your ID. 

You can then earn money by answering student questions and developing textbook solutions. 

What Pricing Plans Does Course Hero Offer? 

Course Hero has a free model and a premier model, and both models offer you different levels of access to Course Hero’s content. To get the free model, you need to participate in several activities, including answering other students’ questions.

Let’s take a detailed look at each of Course Hero’s pricing models.

Free Model 

You can sign up for Course Hero’s free version simply by providing your:

  • Name 
  • School name 
  • Email address 

With the free version, you can access five tutor-answered questions and a limited range of resources. However, Course Hero offers ways for you to add to what you can access.

Here are some of the ways you can get access to more content on Course Hero for free:

  • Upload your notes, answers, or other resources. If you upload resources like essays you have written or answers to textbook questions, you can earn free access to documents. You can unlock five free documents when you submit ten documents. 
  • Quality of content: You may want to upload high-quality content to Course Hero. If a document you have uploaded gets five positive reviews, you will get one free document to unlock. Similarly, if 5 of your documents get unlocked, you will earn one free unlock. 
  • Rating content: If you provide feedback on the content you are using, you can get unlocks. Each time you rate or review five documents, you’ll get a free unlock. 
  • Referring to friends: Each time a friend joins Course Hero with your referral code, you will receive eight free answers to questions. 

Course Hero’s free model is worth it as you can use it to access solutions and answers. If you have your content to upload, it is even better! 

Source: Course Hero: Free Access

Premier Model

Course Hero Premier Model offers you unlimited access to its study resources and access to more documents. When judging Course Hero’s value for money, think about how many resources a subscription will offer you. 

The amount of resources Course Hero contains includes: 

  • 60 million study resources 
  • 30 documents per month (on the premier membership subscription)
  • Unlimited 24/7 tutor help 

If you are looking at getting Course Hero’s Premier model, you can choose between different subscription models: 

  • Monthly: With this model, you can ask 10 tutor questions and access all the document uploads. The monthly subscription is the ideal solution if you are looking at resources to help you complete the last few weeks of your course. 
  • Quarterly: With this model, you can ask 20 tutor questions and access all the documents. 
  • Annual: This model offers the best value for money if you want to use Course Hero throughout your student career regularly. Through it, you can ask up to 40 tutor questions and have unlimited access to the study resources and practice problems to study for exams. 

Ease of Use

To consider whether a platform is worth it, you should consider how easy it is to use. 

Course Hero is easy to use and navigate. Once you become a member, you will get access to the Course Hero dashboard, which collects all the documents and information you need and have viewed in one place. 

Here’s how Course Hero is organized for users: 

  • ‘My Courses’ section: In this section, you must select the courses you’re studying or interested in. You may find the exact course you’re currently taking or find courses similar to yours. Once you select your course, you’ll find a collection of documents relevant to the courses when you go into the ‘My Courses’ section. 
  • My Library’ section: The library section is where you store all the documents you’re interested in, the questions you’ve asked tutors, and the documents you’ve uploaded. The library section is excellent because you can see all the resources you need in one place. 
  • ‘My Account section: This section tells you how many tutor questions and unlocks you have available. 

The Course Hero dashboard is straightforward to navigate and organizes all your material for you. 

Is Course Hero Legit?

Course Hero is legit, as it has a range of different resources that will help you build on your learning. The learning materials on Course Hero are either sourced from students like you or are designed by subject matter experts. 

There are two ways that Course Hero makes sure that its content is legit:

  • Course Hero’s Homework Help section and textbook solutions and explanations are created or reviewed by Course Hero’s tutors or educators. Course Hero reviews the identities and academic credentials of every tutor that it lists on its platform. 
  • Content uploaded by students is verified by other students. Each time you use a Course Hero resource that other students have uploaded, you get the opportunity to rate and review it. That way, you can make sure that the content available is helpful to others. Similarly, you can make sure the content you are accessing is legit by looking at the reviews it got. 

Source: Course Hero: Copyright Policy

Can I Get Into Trouble for Using Course Hero?

You may or may not get into trouble for using Course Hero. If you are thinking about using this site, find out your school’s policy about Course Hero. If your school does not allow Course Hero at all, you shouldn’t use it. Even if you are allowed, it’s important not to plagiarize content. 

Read on to find out how you can use Course Hero without getting into trouble. 

How To Check if Your School Allows Course Hero 

Before you sign up to a platform like Course Hero, check your school or university’s policies. All schools have an academic honesty and integrity policy that you should review before enrolling. 

Check whether these policies mention anything about online learning platforms. While they may not mention Course Hero by name, it’s worth looking at how they view online learning support platforms. 

If you can’t find any information in your school’s policies, you can try speaking to or emailing your professor. They can outline their policies around sites like Course Hero and may be able to point you to some extra support resources. 

Does Course Hero Notify Your School?

Course Hero does not notify your school that you’ve signed up to their platform. However, some colleges may have systems that check which students have signed up to Course Hero in their database. 

In addition, your professors may find you on Course Hero, so you should be careful about what you upload. Finally, plagiarism detectors like Turnitin access Course Hero to check that you have not plagiarized content from the platform. 

Here’s a breakdown of the different ways your school or professor may find out if you’re using Course Hero. 

Database Checks 

If colleges have strict policies about using platforms like Course Hero, some may have systems that capture the users using these platforms. If professors have concerns about your work, they may check these databases and escalate if they believe you have plagiarized. 

Professors on Course Hero 

Every individual can access Course Hero, and some of your professors may use it to gather resources or answer tutor questions. So, they may come across you as a user, especially if you follow the same subject area. 

However, if you are using Course Hero ethically, it shouldn’t be a problem if your professor discovers your account. 

Turnitin and Other Plagiarism Checkers 

It is likely that your school uses a plagiarism checker like Turnitin on every assignment or answer you submit. Turnitin and other plagiarism checkers access Course Hero to check that you have not copied any answers from online platforms. 

So, if you have copied answers word for word or not cited them correctly, it’s likely that Turnitin will pick them up as plagiarized. Depending on how your school’s Turnitin is set up, you may get an opportunity to change your content. 

Or, it will send a message to your professor or assessor about the plagiarized content. 

How To Use Course Hero Ethically

Most schools and professors won’t mind if you use Course Hero to build on your learning. However, you’ll need to use Course Hero correctly to avoid getting into trouble. 

Here’s how to use Course Hero ethically: 

  • Don’t copy answers. Make sure that you don’t copy answers word for word from resources or tutor answers on Course Hero. Instead, use the answers to deepen your understanding of a subject and elaborate on it in your own words. 
  • Don’t share content that isn’t yours. To gain extra unlocks, it may be tempting to upload your professor’s notes, course guides, or even collaborative group work content onto Course Hero. However, you probably shouldn’t do this because this content is not yours. 

Course Hero has policies and regulatory guidelines in place to make sure that content is not misused. If Course Hero discovers that you have been submitting others’ work or plagiarizing, it can ban you from the platform. 

Remember this: If you are using Course Hero or another online resource to understand how to get the answer, you are probably fine. If you are using it to get the answer without doing the work, you already know you aren’t using it ethically.

Sources: University of Colorado, Open Education Alberta, and Course Hero: Is using Course Hero cheating?

Are There Any Alternatives to Course Hero? 

There are alternatives to Course Hero, but they might not have the same quality that Course Hero maintains. Chegg, Quizlet, and One Class are all valid alternatives you can use if you don’t want, or cannot, use Course Hero.

Here are some of the alternatives to Course Hero: 

  • Chegg: Chegg is an online learning platform similar to Course Hero, as it offers resources, writing support, and plagiarism checkers. (See Is Chegg Study Worth It?)
  • Quizlet: Quizlet helps you prepare for exams with flashcards, study guides, and textbook solutions. 
  • OneClass: OneClass offers homework help, study guides, class notes, and textbook solutions. Similar to Course Hero, you can upload documents to gain access to content. 

Negative Reviews

As favorable as many of the benefits are for Course Hero, it is not without fault. While researching on Trustpilot I found that while the program had a 70% Excellent rating, there were a significant number of negative reviews as well.

Some were from tutors who were dissatisfied with the compensation program but others were subscribers. Complaints regarding the company included difficulty in canceling the subscription and most notably, questionable quality of documents that have been uploaded.

The real key to using a service like this tends to be using it as one piece of a comprehensive research process rather than an all-in-one solution. If you are looking for a way to shortcut your assignments, Course Hero nor any other online program is going to meet your expectations.

Conclusion

Course Hero is worth for many it as it offers you a comprehensive collection of study materials and resources.

You can use Course Hero for free if you share your content or spend time reviewing each document you use. Or, you can use the annual plan to get the best value for money and access to Course Hero’s full features. Just be aware that not all of their customers have been satisfied with the service and depending on what you are hoping to get out of it, Course Hero may not fit your needs.

Finally, be sure you are using Course Hero ethically. While Course Hero doesn’t inform your school that you are using it, your school’s plagiarism checker detects copying from Course Hero. Use Course Hero only to deepen your knowledge of a subject.